Philomena is the true story of an Irish woman who gave birth as a single mother in the 1950’s. She was taken in by a convent of nuns, who, eventually sold her son to an American couple. This is the story of her journey – after 50 years – to find her son.

Story: I can’t really criticize the story so much because, it is what it is. The writers told the story. There’s nothing flashy or sensational about it… it’s just the truth, which, in this case, is shocking enough. It’s also not a long movie – They get right to the point and keep the story moving along. I really did wish for more when I saw the credits rolling at the end.

Performances: And now we’re here. This is where this movie truly shines. The central characters are Philomena Lee, acted by Dame Judi Dench and Martin Sixsmith acted by Steve Coogan. Both are outstanding… Oscar-worthy? Not a yes and not a no, but, given the field, I would support a nomination, but, not a win.

Judi Dench passed by litmus test – I ceased to see her playing a role and only saw Philomena Lee. And Steve Coogan truly appealed to my sensibilities as a journalist. He was sarcastic, cynical, insulting, inquisitive ad-nauseum and fearless… All the things you need to be to get to the bottom of a story like this. Philomena, on the other hand, displayed the complete opposite characteristics and that is why this story is so comforting.

Visual: Again, very simple, no fuss, looked like Ireland and each other location looked authentic. Costumes were good as well. Philomena looked like a simple, Irish Catholic mother and so did her wardrobe…

Rating: I am happy to give Philomena an A. Solid A. It’s an efficient movie in every way. The story, the use of the characters, the run time. It’s also a revelation and an expose. Sometimes, nuns are not nice people. Sad, but true. These nuns are not nice people. But, Philomena is a nice person and her example shows us what graciousness and forgiveness really, truly look like.

I’m always surprised how a movie can be made of a singular subject matter. Then I see one and am reminded that the best movies are the ones based on something so simple. It’s the Hollywood blockbuster that tries to squeeze in too much, ultimately accomplishing nothing.

Feel good movie. See it no matter what or where. Worth every minute in the theater or on DVD.